Fa­thers speak out against ‘bro-code’

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The fa­thers of two women killed in high-pro­file abuse cases say their daugh­ters could still be alive if male friends had stepped in early.

In­stead, abuse was able to carry on be­hind closed doors un­til both 17-year-old Emily Lon­g­ley and Mata­mata mother He­len Meads were mur­dered.

Their fa­thers, Mark Lon­g­ley and David White, are call­ing for ac­tion for the global White Rib­bon anti-do­mes­tic vi­o­lence cam­paign.

The two are speak­ing out against the ‘‘bro code’’, a code of si­lence be­tween mates when some­one does some­thing wrong.

Mr Lon­g­ley said there were par­al­lels be­tween the abuse lead­ing up to the death of Emily and the Roast Busters case in­volv­ing a group of west Auck­land youths who bragged about hav­ing sex with drunk and un­der­age girls.

His daugh­ter could still be alive if friends of her killer, El­liot Turner, had spo­ken up about the abuse, he said.

‘‘Turner told peo­ple, ‘ I’m go­ing to break her f.....g neck’. He texted one friend when Emily was in New Zealand say­ing when she got back [to Eng­land] that he was go­ing to show her the rules – that you make girls scared of you.

‘‘He called her a whore in front of other peo­ple. Now I may be old-fash­ioned, but when a woman looks nice you don’t tell her she looks like a whore,’’ Mr Lon­g­ley said.

‘‘We saw that again with th­ese Roast Busters with their de­mean­ing, nasty be­hav­iour to­wards women.’’

He is call­ing on friends of the Roast Busters to con­front them. Friends held the ‘‘ moral com­pass’’ for young peo­ple.

‘‘The mes­sage is for other men, mates of th­ese guys, you need to step in and put a stop to it. You can cur­tail that be­hav­iour be­fore it gets to the point it did with Emily.’’

Mr White said naivety pre­vented him from call­ing Women’s Refuge to get help for He­len.

She was shot in the throat by her hus­band, Greg Meads, in 2009.

‘‘We were to­tally naive. We thought by mak­ing a fuss about He­len leav­ing him, sup­port­ing her in this, that we were do­ing the right thing,’’ Mr White said.

‘‘For three days Meads was plan­ning to get He­len on her own. He was act­ing like a good man who was help­ing sort out the sep­a­ra­tion. But leav­ing an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship is the most dan­ger­ous time for a woman.’’

Mr White be­lieves he could have talked Meads out of it if he con­fronted him.

Each year 82,000 re­ports of fam­ily vi­o­lence are made to po­lice. More than 3500 con­vic­tions are recorded against men for as­saults on women, and on av­er­age 14 women are killed by their part­ners or ex-part­ners each year.

White Rib­bon Day, which aims to change at­ti­tudes to vi­o­lence, is on Novem­ber 25.

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